DICKINSON, Texas — Moving back into homes damaged by Harvey has been a slow process for many, but for one Galveston County couple, it feels like time is running out.
“It was not a big, lavish house, but it was home," said Rejoyce Ricks.
The Ricks wholeheartedly believe in the saying, “Home is where the heart is." A modest house in Dickinson has been just that for the 81-year-old and her husband, 84-year-old Andrew Ricks Sr., the last 40 years.
“This house means everything to me,” Andrew Ricks said. “It has sentimental values and the fact that my mother gave it to us.”
At the moment, the Ricks are staying with their daughter Evesta.
“We appreciate you letting us stay there,” Rejoyce Ricks told her daughter.
Today the house is nothing more than a shell of what it used to be.
“It’s home, but it’s sad, because we’re not able to live in it and we’re not able ourselves to do the work like we used to," Rejoyce said.
They said three feet of water drowned decades of memories. A home video showed the aftermath of the storm after the water receded.
“We had traditions like Christmas Day and Thanksgiving all the family and children come,” Ricks said. “We have no place to go. I mean, we go to the children’s house, but that’s not like coming home.”
The Ricks have had some help rebuilding, but it hasn’t been enough to get them to move in. They have applied to the Texas General Land Office but are stuck in the paperwork.
“When you’re used to being independent and not ever having to ask for help and then to have to ask for help, it’s hard,” Rejoyce Ricks said.
The goal is to move back in.
“Where I feel that I’ll be comfortable and I live the rest of my life here," Andrew Ricks said.
However, they said it’s hard to remain optimistic two years after Harvey.
“You worry about is he going to make it to be able to live here again,” Rejoyce Ricks said.
If you or someone you know can lend a helping hand to the Ricks you’re urged to email firstname.lastname@example.org.